Aggressive surgery remains the method of choice in the treatment of this tumor. The tumor, and possibly the surrounding area, will need to be removed entirely. If the tumor is occurring on a limb, the affected limb will most probably be amputated, a surgery which most cats recover from well. An axial tumor – one that is affecting the area of the head or trunk – may be more difficult to treat. Chemotherapy along with surgery is the recommended treatment plan.
Living and Management
Your veterinarian will set up a schedule for progress evaluation visits, starting from the first month after initial treatment and every three months following. Chemotherapy medications have the possibility of toxic side effects, so your veterinarian will need to closely monitor your cat's stability, changing dosage as necessary. Routine x-rays will be taken of the chest, heart and abdomen to check for recurrence and progress.
After surgery, you should expect your cat to feel sore. Your veterinarian will give you pain medication for your cat to help minimize discomfort. Use pain medications with caution; one of the most preventable accidents with pets is overdose of medication. Follow all directions carefully. You will need to limit your cat's activity while it heals, setting aside a quiet place for it to rest, away from household activity, children, and other pets. You might consider cage rest for your cat, to limit its physical activity. Your veterinarian will tell you when it is safe for your cat to move about again. Most cats recover well from amputation, and learn to compensate for the lost limb.
It is important to monitor your cat's food and water intake while it is recovering. If your cat does not feel up to eating, you may need to use a feeding tube so that it is getting all of the nutrition it needs to completely recover. Your veterinarian will show you how to use the feeding tube correctly, and will assist you in setting up a feeding schedule. While your cat is in the process of healing, you may set the litter box up closer to where your cat rests, and make it so that it is easy to get in and out of the box.
Each cat is different, and some will survive longer than others, but the average time of survival after surgery is six months. Less than ten percent will survive for one year after surgery.
An increase in the number of white blood cells (abnormal)
A condition of the cells; means that they are abnormally shaped
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
Any type of pain or tenderness or lack of soundness in the feet or legs of animals
A tumor made up vascular tissue
A condition of the blood in which normal red blood cell counts or hemoglobin are lacking.
A condition in which cells are unequal.
The process of removing all or part of a body part; usually refers to a limb (arm or leg) and is done for medical reasons.